Introducing FAST EVIDENCE—finding answers: systematic, timely, evidence-based

The new FAST EVIDENCE course, launching April 5, 2019, will provide registrants with skills to locate credible, evidence-based medical information. Facilitated by two College librarians, this half-day, interactive workshop offers small group, hands-on learning in a computer-based setting. Follow-up reflective practices are intended to support integration of the workshop skills into everyday practice.  

Retrieving high-quality, relevant information for clinical decision making is a cornerstone of evidence-based practice requiring appropriate selection of resources, access to those resources, and skill in searching resources effectively—factors that physicians may find challenging. For example, primary care pediatricians often did not search for information about clinical questions that could be readily answered in part because they were uncertain of the appropriate resources to search1. Residents, general practitioners, and a variety of physician groups share this experience2. Physicians may have gaps in their ability to formulate answerable questions and search information resources effectively3,4

Cullen et al. (2011) demonstrated residents overestimated their searching skills, tended to have a restricted repertoire of information sources, and were not skillful in locating evidence-based studies. Assessment of the quality of information found is also a challenge5. Training in selection and efficient use of reliable resources increases physicians’ perception of ease of use and self-efficacy with searching information systems, factors which predict physicians' ongoing use of information systems6.  

In the FAST EVIDENCE workshop, participants will explore information resources, practise skills in query-making, and use filters to assist in locating relevant publications. A follow-up reflective component helps integrate literature searching skills into everyday clinical work. Participants set personal plans for using their new skills in clinical practice and, in teams of two, check in at three weeks post-workshop. A 30-minute coaching session is available with a College librarian at six weeks post-workshop and, at 12 weeks post-workshop, participants complete a reflective exercise on the impact of the workshop on practice change.

FAST EVIDENCE was designed and produced by a program committee of family physicians, specialists, UBC CPD staff, and College librarians. Members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada can earn 5.5 MOC Section 3 credits and members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada can earn 16.5 Mainpro+ credits. 

Register at UBC CPD here.


  1. Norlin, C., A.L. Sharp, and S.D. Firth, Unanswered questions prompted during pediatric primary care visits. Ambul Pediatr, 2007. 7(5): p. 396-400.
  2. Brassil, E., et al., Unanswered clinical questions: a survey of specialists and primary care providers. J Med Libr Assoc, 2017. 105(1): p. 4-11.
  3. Cullen, R., M. Clark, and R. Esson, Evidence-based information-seeking skills of junior doctors entering the workforce: an evaluation of the impact of information literacy training during pre-clinical years. Health Info Libr J, 2011. 28(2): p. 119-29.
  4. van Dijk, N., L. Hooft, and M. Wieringa-de Waard, What are the barriers to residents' practicing evidence-based medicine? A systematic review. Acad Med, 2010. 85(7): p. 1163-70.
  5. Schuers, M., et al., Behavior and attitudes of residents and general practitioners in searching for health information: From intention to practice. Int J Med Inform, 2016. 89: p. 9-14.
  6. Hung, S.Y., Y.C. Ku, and J.C. Chien, Understanding physicians' acceptance of the Medline system for practicing evidence-based medicine: a decomposed TPB model. Int J Med Inform, 2012. 81(2): p. 130-42.